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Murder trial told: gay wanted sex

PUBLISHED: 11:28 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:55 25 August 2010

A FAILED asylum seeker accused of battering a gay sales assistant to death told jurors how he had to fight off the victim s advances.  Mossab Belhocine, 19, attacked 28-year-old David Cooper after plotting to rob his flat in Woolwich, it is claimed.  Mr C

A FAILED asylum seeker accused of battering a gay sales assistant to death told jurors how he had to fight off the victim's advances.

Mossab Belhocine, 19, attacked 28-year-old David Cooper after plotting to rob his flat in Woolwich, it is claimed.

Mr Cooper was stamped on with 'such ferocity' that the imprint of a trainer was left on his face.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Belhocine, who denies murder, admitted that he had met the victim in the street in the early hours of November 19 last year.

He said he was depressed because he was tired of spending his days getting drunk and wandering around London.

"I didn't have a home, I didn't have a job, I had nothing," he added.

Belhocine, of Forest Road, Walthamstow, who also used the fake name Adam Saidi, said Mr Cooper invited him home to cheer him up.

"He was trying to make me feel better. I needed someone to talk to. He asked me to stay at his house.

"We started talking, then he brought some beers and we started drinking and put the music on. He rolled a joint."

He claimed that David Cooper then changed out of his jeans and sat next to him on the sofa.

"He put his hand on my left leg and started moving it up and down," said Belhocine.

"I got up straight away. I was trying to get out. I didn't want that to happen. I wanted to leave.

"He grabbed hold of me. He was pushing me to the bed. I fell on the bed. He came on top of me, trying to kiss me.

"I fought him off. I was punching him with both hands."

Belhocine claimed that he next saw Mr Cooper lying on the floor.

He admitted to searching the room, but said he could not remember much of it.

He then left the flat with two bags full of the victim's possessions, which were later found stashed in his bedroom.

During Belhocine's cross examination, prosecutor Jonathan Rees asked if he was part of a gang of Algerian pickpockets who targeted people who had been drinking on Friday and Saturday nights.

"That is not true," Belhocine replied.

Belhocine allegedly robbed helpless Mr Cooper of his bracelets, a DVD player, a flat screen TV, laptop, play station and Oyster card as the victim lay bleeding to death.

He was discovered the next day by two friends who noticed the door to his flat in Sir Martin Bowes House, Calderwood Street was ajar.

Jurors heard Belhocine, who was refused asylum in April last year, was caught five days later when police tracked his Oyster card.

Following his arrest the defendant burst into tears and said: "He tried to rape me. What was I supposed to do? I had to defend myself. Is he really dead?"

The trial continues.

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